Challenging, isn’t it? That there are people out there who have much more difficult, underpaid, stressful jobs than we do, and yet seem to enjoy them much more. Yes, they are hard to find, but they are there. The people with job satisfaction.

I was watching a program on Great Indian Railways not too long ago and saw an interview with one of the station porters in the remote mountains of Northern India. Day in and day out he comes to the train station and waits for the tourists to arrive with their heavy and bulking suitcases and packed to the brim rucksacks. He then offers for a tiny little fee to carry the language, sometimes equal his own weight, to their final destination. Most if not all take him up on the offer as they look up the crazily steep hill ahead. He has been doing it for years.

But what shocked me most was not the fact that he is there every day, no matter the weather, or the fact how little his income comes to at the end of the month, but how much he likes his job. He was beaming with pride and satisfaction as he talked about it. As I listened to him talking with so much affection about his job I felt really convicted how negative I can be about mine.

And I know that I am not the only one. Many of the people I know are not satisfied with their jobs. And as we all know, satisfied employees means a successful organization or business. There is a lot of research that is being done on job satisfaction, and those employers who want to really succeed are realizing they have to tap into the wealth of this research.

Gallup have come up with 12 factors that help to determine whether we are engaged or disengaged with our jobs. So basically, they help measure our job satisfaction. Look at the list and answer these questions:

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  2. Do I have the materials and equipment that I need in order to do my work right?
  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  4. In the past seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
  8. Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel that my job is important?
  9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do I have a best friend at work?
  11. In the past six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
  12. This past year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Most of us cannot answer all these questions with a resounding YES. But I am challenged to think, thanks to the hard working train station porter, whether a lot of the job satisfaction we derive from our work is up to our attitude, not whether we can answer the above questions.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” Colossians 3:23.

Joanna has a passion for mentoring female leaders to become mentors for a new generation. She is a founding director of One Rock, a board member of Renovare UK, and an associate lecturer at Oasis College. In her spare time she loves taking photographs of nature, and playing with her cat Chester.